There are some universal experiences in life.
Getting ready for your first day at school is one; being let down by your sports team is another. But when it comes to universality, nothing comes close to being told a ‘fact’ by a friend and calling bullshit on them.
We’re not talking about stuff like ‘gullible got removed from the dictionary’ or ‘Alan Shearer makes £6 a second’ (that wasn’t just at my school, right?). We mean true, verifiable facts. Things that sound like they can’t be true but somehow are.
As with any subject that crosses that line between urban legend and objective truth, the answer lies on Reddit.
And if you’re willing to sift through a whole load of nonsense in this thread, entitled ‘What sounds 100% incorrect, but is actually 100% correct?’, you’ll find the odd chunk of gold.
It sounds preposterous to think a 17-inch pizza might offer more pizza than two 12-inch pizzas, for example. But redditor ‘huazzy’ presented it, and nerds were soon on hand to maths it out and prove him right.
‘3.142 * (17/2)2 = 227.01; 2 * 3.142 * (12/2)2 = 226.224’. Well there you have it.
We don’t want you to miss out on other facts which are broadly useless beyond encouraging folks to go ‘huh, whaddaya know’ upon hearing them, so here goes…
Stegosaurs lived more than 150 million years ago. Tyrannosaurus lived about 65-70 million years ago. Take that, The Land Before Time.
Each time you fold it in half, its thickness doubles. 42 times would come to 439,804km: 50,000km further than the distance from Earth to the moon.
Chaplin died in December 1977, when Fiddy was two-and-a-half years old.
John Tyler was born in 1790. His youngest child, Lyon Gardiner Tyler Sr, was born in 1853, and two of Gardiner’s sons – born in the 1920s – are still alive.
The distance between Earth and the moon is 384,400km. Adding together the diameter of Mercury (4,879km), Venus (12,104km), Mars (6,779km), Jupiter (139,822km), Saturn (116,464km), Uranus (50,724km) and Neptune (49,244km) gives you a total of 380,016km. You could even fit Pluto in the remaining gap if you wanted to.
Even higher if there are twins in the class
The largest national park is the Guiana Amazonian Park in French Guiana, which has an area of 33,900 square kilometres.
The most westerly point is in Saint-Martin, while the island of Réunion is home to the most southerly and easterly EU territories.
You know what, we’re feeling really generous today, so here are a few more of our favourites for free.
And finally (Game of Thrones Season 1 spoiler below...)
(Images: iStock/Rex Features)